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El Paso, TX (KDBC) — Hundreds of Clint, Horizon, and El Paso residents gathered at a Lower Valley park to grieve the death of an 8th grade student who was killed in a drunk driving accident over the weekend. While Pablo Hernandez's family is grieving they also explained they're grateful the community has come together to support them through this tough time.
"It's heavy. It's hard just because of the loss,” Manuel Esparza, Pablo’s Uncle told us.
What used to be the site of a deadly accident became a place for healing Monday night as hundreds of borderland residents gathered at a Lower Valley park to grieve the passing of 13-year-old Pablo Hernandez.
"Devastated. I mean my heart sank my… I don't know it was a sick feeling to my stomach,” Rafael Esparza, another of Pablo’s Uncles explained.
The Esparza family spoke to a mourning crowd. Holding candles, posters, and wearing the 8th grader's favorite color - blue.
"He was an all-around great guy. Just the kind of guy you wanted to be with,” Genesis Santamaria, a childhood friend said.
"See you just said Pablo and it made me laugh. That's all it took,” Manuel told us.
Pablo died shortly after a truck hit the SUV he was riding in from behind on Saturday, according to police.
"Now he's just gone because of some irresponsible guy.” Santamaria said.
Authorities arrested Julian Tapia who is charged with intoxication manslaughter for Pablo's death. The junior high school student's older sister, Isabel, remains in critical condition authorities said.
They said the teens were not wearing their seatbelts.
"She's still hanging in there and she's fighting, " Manuel said of his neice.
Pablo's mother, Patricia, who was driving the SUV sustained non-life threatening injuries.
"I mean she's broken morally. I mean, physically she's fine it's just the pain of losing a son and having a daughter fighting for her life,” Manuel added.
As the community continues to grieve, "My brother-in-law used to call him the Mexican Jim Carrey cause that's just Pablo and his face… he just brightened everybody's day.” They also continue vigil for Isabel who is still fighting for her life.
"Pretty much the only thing we can do is pray. Keep praying for her,” Rafael said.
The family tells us they are working out the details for Pablo's funeral and will let the community know when the date is set.
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